Two Martinez residents charged with murder in elder-abuse death

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Police have arrested two people in Martinez for the death of an elderly man on Thursday. 

Authorities received a call around 10:28 a.m to the 200 block of Escondido Drive about a man not breathing. 

After arriving on the scene, a 77-year-old man was found dead in a bedroom. 

An investigation into the cause of his death revealed it was likely due to neglect. 

The two suspects arrested have been identified as 49-year-old Edmund Phillip St. John and 50-year-old Laura Ann Lawrence, both from Martinez.

Officials say they have been booked into the Martinez Detention Facility for manslaughter, elder abuse, and child cruelty. 

After a continued investigation, detectives presented the case to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office leading to the suspects also being charged with murder and intimidating a witness.  

Photos of the suspects have not yet been released. 

Police ask that if you have any information on the incident to contact Detective Sergeant Moore at (925) 372-3450.

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